Category Archives: Wildlife

Repost: Man Gets Eaten By Lion in Africa

This is a great oldie that is getting posted around a lot again. Enjoy.

Many, many people insist that this video must be fake, and actually, it is.

The story is that this is a very famous video that was taken in the mid-1970’s in Africa on a safari. The tourist was apparently from London. It was entered as evidence in a court case. The insurance company used this tape evidence in court to deny the life insurance claim for the guy. They argued that the man engaged in “gross stupidity” and therefore they were not on the line for payout.

In truth, this video is fake. It is said to have occurred in Wallasee National Park in Angola in the mid-70’s. There is no such place in Angola or anywhere in Africa.

The “attack victim” is named Pit Dernitz, and he has his own IMDB entry for this video. He is a very famous lion trainer.

This clip was taken from an Italian Mondo film called Ultime Grida Dalla Savana, which contains many similar clips.

This film was never entered into any court case.

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Filed under Accidents, Africa, Animals, Carnivores, East Africa, Felids, Gross, Lions, Mammals, Regional, Sick, Sick and Evil, Wild, Wildlife

Repost: Wolverines in the Upper Midwest

I spent quite a bit of time on this post recently and it got a massive update due to the wolverine that was killed in North Dakota. That post was a huge success and traffic went though the roof for a few days as my post got linked around quite a bit. It even got linked to the MSM in this article from the Capital Journal of Pierre, South Dakota. I have never heard of this illustrious journal before, but I must say that that Midwestern hick journalist sure did a bang-up job. You never really realize how much excellence there is in the world until you actually look around and notice it for once. Cynics are wrong. The competence of our species never fails to amaze me.

The article refers to me as a “wolverine expert, a hat I will be happy to try on if not wear regularly. I wear quite a few hats as it is, and there’s not a whole lot of room left in my polymathic/dilettantish identity wardrobe. It’s getting to where some days I actually get out of bed and wonder who I am today.

Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington, Idaho (here and here), Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. There are also five posts on the wolverine in California.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Rediscovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the Upper Midwest. Until recently, wolverines had been extinct in the Upper Midwest for 85-200 years.

However, one was photographed recently in Michigan. Furthermore, there have been some tantalizing sightings in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and even a few in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri in recent years. It is distinctly possible the wolverines may be reclaiming some of their historical territory in the Upper Midwest. If so, this is fascinating indeed.

In 2004, a wolverine was photographed in Ubly, Michigan, 90 miles north of Detroit. They were extirpated from Michigan almost 200 years ago.

DNA testing of this wolverine showed that it was from Alaska. How it got from Alaska to Michigan is anyone’s guess. On March 14, 2010, this wolverine was found dead in Sanilac County, Michigan, south of where it was originally sighted in Ubly.

There have been other sightings in Lower Michigan. In November 1958, a wolverine was seen near Cadillac, Michigan by a boy who was deer hunting. A wolverine was sighted around 1998-2000 in Tawas, Michigan. In August 2009, a wolverine was spotted by motorists twice in short period of time just outside of Alpena, Michigan which is on the shore of Lake Huron in the far north of the Thumb near the Upper Peninsula. In November 2009, four people spotted a wolverine outside of West Brach, Michigan in the north of the Thumb south of Huron National Forest.

These wolverines could have come down from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because there are wolverine sightings there. Or possibly they could have come from Southern Ontario near Port Huron, though that area is densely populated. There is known to be a population in Ontario, albeit in the northern part.

The sightings on the Upper Peninsula have been in Delta County, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula. I assume that the Upper Peninsula population came from Ontario, possibly across the St. Mary’s River, if it freezes over in wintertime.

A forest road in Delta County, Michigan. This road is in Escanaba State Forest. A wolverine was sighted here in an unverified sighting sometime between 1999-2004. During this period, there was about one wolverine sighting a year in Michigan, all from the Upper Peninsula.

The forests here have been changed massively from 100 years ago, when most of the White Pine was logged off. I assume what we have here is Eastern second-growth forest coming back in after the old growth was logged off. This second-growth explosion is fueling an increase in wildlife numbers, especially deer, all over the East Coast.

Tahquamenon Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This area is located at the far east end of the UP near Ontario. The town of Paradise is nearby, as is Whitefish Bay. If the St. Mary’s River is frozen over, wolverines may well come down from Ontario to the UP. The part of Ontario near Sault Saint Marie is pretty sparsely populated. An unverified sighting of a wolverine was reported here in 2002.


There was also an unverified wolverine sighting in the UP on November 21, 2001 at 3 PM, crossing Highway M-64 1 mile south of Silver City in Ontonagon County. In August 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the UP in the garden of the Big Bay Lighthouse on Lake Superior.

In the late 2000’s, there was rash of wolverine sightings around Babbitt, Minnesota, which is near Ely in the far northeastern part of the state near Canada. A tiny lynx population has recently also been confirmed there. The sightings around Babbitt appear to be genuine. Babbitt is surrounded by the Superior National Forest and there are frequent sightings of bears and even wolves in the area, even inside city limits.

In addition, there was one documented sighting in northeastern Minnesota in 1965, but details are lacking. In 1974 there was a report of a wolverine in a hay field in north-central Minnesota, near the North Woods. There was also a sighting on Koochiching County on the Minnesota border with Canada in 1982. That sighting was deemed credible.

In early 2008, there have been reports of dog and horse kills in and around Rollag, Minnesota lately. Certain things about the killings indicate that a wolverine may be doing this. Rollag is far to the north, getting up near the North Woods. It is east of and not far from Fargo, North Dakota.

There is also a report of a wolverine captured on a security camera in 2005-2006 at a Ford dealership in the town of Zumbrota in Southeast Minnesota. This land is very much prairie.

In 1991, a baby wolverine was seen dying by the side of the road on Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota. The motorists did not know how rare it was or else they would have kept the carcass. In 1999, a wolverine was spotted by a canoeist in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota on the border of Ontario, Canada.

In November 2004, a wolverine was seen eating a gut pile from a dead deer near Askov, Minnesota. In 2005, a wolverine was spotted in the Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. In Summer 2006, a fisherman fishing in the Narrows between Big and Little Cut Foot Sioux Lakes in Northern Minnesota saw a wolverine. He was able to watch it for 15 minutes until it caught his scent and left. In Summer 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the forest of Eagles Nest, Minnesota, south of Ely and north of Tower. In Fall 2008, a hunter spotted a wolverine in the Black Brook Swamp east of Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

In 2010, a deer hunter saw a wolverine in Douglas County, Minnesota. Another wolverine was photographed near there five years later. In July 2010, a wolverine was seen by a motorist at night on US 53 ten miles south of International Falls, Minnesota. In Summer 2010, a wolverine was seen outside of Chisholm, Minnesota near Superior State Park.

In July 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota.

On January 12, 2012, a wolverine was spotted somewhere in Southern Minnesota. Someone went out to their car late at night, and a wolverine was by the garage. Tracks were found the very next day. On July 12, 2012, two hunters saw a wolverine while driving on the Dick’s Parkway road 13 miles south of Warroad, Minnesota. The GPS location was given as 48 42.131, -95 20.566. On October 20, 2012 at midnight, a wolverine was seen on someone’s driveway in Ham Lake, Minnesota.

At 6 PM on On October 13, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Superior National Forest crossing Pike Lake Road on the east side of Pike Lake between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Minnesota. This is seven miles from Lake Superior. On June 6, 2014, a wolverine was spotted in Jordan, Minnesota in a corn and alfalfa field. It was running away from a neighbor’s elk ranch. Two men observed it for a full two minutes. The areas consists of open farm country with some random tree lines.

On June 13, 2014 at 2:30 in the afternoon, a wolverine was seen crossing Road 327 in Watowan County, Minnesota. It was seen two miles east and six miles north of Saint James, Minnesota on the Watowan River.

On April 30, 2015, two wolverines were seen running, one behind the other, just east of Rush City, Minnesota in the Saint Croix River Valley. In May 2015, a wolverine was photographed by a trail cam in Douglas County, Minnesota. I have seen the photo and felt that it was interesting but inconclusive. I showed the photo to a wolverine expert, and he also said it could be a wolverine, but it was unclear enough so it was inconclusive.

Old State Route 52 north of Zumbrota, Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that wolverines inhabit such terrain. Wolverines are recolonizing their old habitat on the US prairie. Why?


Many have questioned whether wolverines were actually common in prairies or if prairies merely served as population sinks. It is looking more and more like prairies are a natural home for wolverines, strange as it may seem. If these reports are accurate, it means that wolverines are re-colonizing Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly also Iowa, which is fantastic news!

Prairie Island (Sioux) Indian Reservation near Zumbrota, Minnesota. Is it possible that wolverines in the past preyed on the vast buffalo herds of prairie, perhaps especially on dead buffaloes?


The occurrence of the wolverine in Wisconsin is very rare but documented.

On an unknown date, a wolverine was spotted on Peshtigo Brook Fire Road where it joins Kitzinger Road near Gillett, Wisconsin.

In May 1978, a wolverine was spotted by a boy and his father while walking along the Oconto River in Oconto County eight miles west of Crooked Lake, Wisconsin. The boy was able to observe it for one minute.

We receive a number of undocumented sightings by email to this site. One man grew up in Land O’ Lakes in Far Northern Wisconsin on the border with Michigan in an area known as the North Woods. This is an area of very thick, wild forest and swamps. There are many wolves, bears and possibly wolverines in this part of Wisconsin.

In 1982, the man saw three wolves in his front yard. In 1990, he and his friends treed 22 different bears in a single day while training bear dogs. They also had a frightening standoff with a wolverine on that day. From about 1983-1995, when he engaged in frequent deer hunting, the man saw one or more wolverines every year.

In September 1990, a wolverine was seen several times over two weeks. The last time the man saw one was in 2006 near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. All sightings took place between 1983-2006 in the North Woods approximately between Rhinelander and Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The bear density in this region is said to be incredible, or at least it was 10 years ago (Bangs 2009).

In the early 1990’s, a wolverine ran in front of a man’s car in Marinette County, Wisconsin.

A wolverine was photographed on top of a woodpile in Green Lake County, Wisconsin in recent years. The disposition of the photo is unknown. There are also recent sightings in the Black River Falls area and to the north in Wisconsin from 2000-2007. A 2003 sighting in Lafayette County in the far south of the state was regarded as credible by the the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In 2004-2005, a wolverine was spotted in Niagara, Wisconsin in the fall on opening day of deer hunting season.

In 2010, a roadkilled wolverine was found by the side of the road in Green Lake County, Wisconsin. In November 2010, a father and son saw a wolverine while sitting in a deer stand north of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

In March 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 53 between New Auburn and Bloomer, Wisconsin. On July 29, 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing the highway on US 20 east of Sac City, Wisconsin. On November 25, 2011, a deer hunter saw a wolverine run by his blind south of Gillette, Wisconsin. In Fall 2011, a wolverine was seen twice in a one week period by two hunters in Northern Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, one mile south of Brown County. Over the next year, a wolverine, suspected to be the same one as before, was seen in area.

On November 6, 2012, a wolverine was spotted by a man and his girlfriend hunting deer on their farm in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. They observed it for half a minute. A wolverine had been seen in the area 20 years before in the early 1990’s.

In July 2013, a wolverine killed a woman’s two cats at a home at in Wisconsin at Highway 53 and I-94 Highway 9 miles form Eau Claire and 6 miles form Osseo. A few days later, a neighbor came within three feet of a wolverine. Three weeks before, a nearby tavern owner said he had seen a wolverine on a county road. Around the time the woman’s cats vanished, neighbors in the vicinity started seeing their pets disappearing. Before the cats were killed, it had been eating the woman’s cat food for some time. On August 28, 2013, a man saw a wolverine running away from a trash bin at a gas station in Elk Mound, Wisconsin.

On June 13, 2014, a wolverine was seen in a field only two miles north of Independence, Wisconsin.

There have been a few unverified sightings of wolverines in North Dakota recently. In 1988, two wolverines were seen along the Little Missouri River in the Badlands of far western North Dakota by a very experienced fur trapper. In 2004, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine near Minot. The observer watched it for a good five minutes. On June 23, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Turtle Mountains in Far Northern North Dakota on the Manitoba border. In February 2015, mailmen spotted a wolverine on their route near Rugby, North Dakota. That is 50 miles east of Minot and 60 miles south of the Manitoba border with Canada.

There have also been wolverine sightings in South Dakota in the past 60 years. There was a verifiable wolverine sighting in the south-central portion of the state in 1961 (Aubry et al 1967). From 1998-2016, an 18 year period, three wolverines were seen in Lake County, South Dakota. One was an adult and two were juveniles. The adult was severely mauled by people’s dogs. On July 12, 2012, someone saw a wolverine near Nisland, South Dakota on the Belle Fourche River in Western South Dakota 25 miles from the Wyoming border. Their neighbor had seen a wolverine shortly before the sighting. People 10 miles northwest of Nisland said that they had seen a wolverine earlier.

A female wolverine was shot dead by a farmer on May 21, 1960 in a cornfield in central Iowa (Haugen 1961). No one quite knew how she ended up in central Iowa. She was infected with Trichinella spiralis, a parasite. (Zimmerman et al 1962). However, one report said that this wolverine had been transported into the state in 1960. There were reports around 1995-2000 of a “black animal” going from north to south through eastern Iowa killing dogs. It may have been a wolverine.

Five different people spotted a wolverine in Southwestern Iowa in 2008. A wolverine was seen in Mid June 2010 near Canton, Iowa near the Maquoketa Caves. In 2011, a bowhunter spotted a wolverine in Southeastern Iowa. In July 2011, three people spotted a wolverine walking across County Road V68 1/4 to 1/2 mile north of Highway 3 in Fayette County, Iowa. It was headed in the direction of the Wapsipinicon River. This is 10 miles north of Fairbank, Iowa.

On July 31, 2011, a wolverine cub was seen on the deck of a house in the hills north of Sioux City, Iowa. In mid-July 2102, a wolverine was photographed in Fonanelle in Adair Country in Southwestern Iowa; however, it is not known what happened to the photograph.

Incredibly enough, there have been a number of wolverine sightings in Nebraska in recent years.

It makes sense because wolverines are native to Nebraska, at least in the more mountainous parts to the north. In the Hall of Nebraska Wildlife in the University of Nebraska Natural History Museum, there is a mounted specimen of a wolverine that was shot on Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska in the 1880’s. That area is in Far Western Nebraska on the North Platte River only 20 miles from the Wyoming border. This part of Nebraska borders on Southeastern Wyoming, which is known to have wolverine populations.

In particular, wolverines have been repeatedly sighted in and around Antelope and Knox Counties in Far Northeastern Nebraska near the Missouri River and the South Dakota border.

This area is near Louis and Clark Lake and the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation. In this area, there have been many sightings along the Verdigre and Niobrara Rivers. For instance, in Summer 1998, a number of people spotted a wolverine near Verdigre, Nebraska. One was seen chasing a deer out of a draw in the middle of a hay meadow.

Photo of the area of NE Nebraska around the Niobrara, Verdigre and Elkhorn Rivers where there have been numerous wolverine sightings. That is probably the Verdigre River in the foreground.

Photo of the area of NE Nebraska around the Niobrara, Verdigre and Elkhorn Rivers where there have been numerous wolverine sightings. That is probably the Verdigre River in the foreground.

In April 2012, a fire and range ecologist spotted a wolverine running away after a cedar burn operation in a steep area near Scotia on the North Loup River. This is about in the dead center of Nebraska.

On October 29, 2014, a wet wolverine that seemed to have been swimming somewhere was seen in a pasture in Central Nebraska near Doniphan between Hastings and Grand Island. This is quite close to the Platte River where it may have been swimming. The area is between Lincoln and Platte, Nebraska.

There has also been one sighting north of Gordon in northwestern Nebraska on the headwaters of Wounded Knee Creek near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This area is east of the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, now the scene of a famous fight over selling booze to Pine Ridge Indians.

A view of the terrain around Whiteclay, Nebraska. A wolverine was sighted on the South Dakota border about 17 miles east of here.

A view of the terrain around Whiteclay, Nebraska. A wolverine was sighted on the South Dakota border about 17 miles east of here.

Incredibly enough, there have even been wolverine sightings in Missouri. On October 28, 2011, a man spotted a wolverine emerging from a cornfield and crossing State Highway E just south of Highway 13. This is hilly farm country. This area is in Western Nebraska not far from the Missouri River and is close to the place where the borders of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri all meet. There are a number of good sightings in both Nebraska and Iowa, so it is possible, though bizarre, that wolverines may exist in Western Missouri.

The first Grey Wolf in 94 years was seen recently in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It was a lone male. The UP, Minnesota and Wisconsin all have healthy populations. The Black Bear and wolf populations in Minnesota have shown dramatic increases in recent years, and there is now a healthy population of over 25 lynx in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for the first time in 30 years.

In other great news along similar lines, an Eastern Grey Wolf, the first in 160 years, was detected in Massachusetts. It killed over a dozen lambs before the farmer shot it to death. The killing was probably justified, but it is unfortunate that the first wolf in the state in over 150 years got shot to death. There will probably be more wolves coming to the state after this one, though.

Click the wolverines label at the end of the post to see other posts on wolverines in the US, including many sighting reports and photos.


Aubry, K. B., McKelvey, K. S., and Copeland, J. P. 2007. Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(7): 148-158.

Bangs, Ray. 2009. Personal communication.

Haugen, A. O. 1961. Wolverine in Iowa. Journal of Mammalogy 42: 546-547.

Zimmermann, W. J., Biester, H. E., Schwarte, L. H., and Hubbard, E. D. 1962. Trichinella spiralis in Iowa Wildlife during the Years 1953 to 1961. The Journal of Parasitology, 48:3:1, pp. 429-432.

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Filed under Animals, Canada, Canids, Carnivores, Iowa, Mammals, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, Mustelids, North America, North Dakota, Regional, South Dakota, USA, West, Wild, Wildlife, Wisconsin, Wolverines, Wolves, Wyoming

Wolverine Killed in North Dakota!

Be sure to check out my extensive series on wolverines in the US. It is split into different areas, and it includes sightings and other evidence for the region along with photos of the area. The sightings are listed according to date and location. Many of the photos are of areas where sightings occurred. Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington, Idaho (here and here), Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. There are also five posts on the subject of wolverines in California.

The first wolverine recorded in North Dakota in nearly 150 years was killed in North Dakota this week in stunning news that comes on the heels of other reports in recent decades of rare wild animals being seen where they have not been seen in decades or scores of years or in one case, centuries. In the case of North Dakota, this is the first verified wolverine recorded in the state ever and the first record of a wolverine since 1870, 146 years ago. This should be national news possibly along the lines of the recent stories about the first wolverine in Michigan in ~200 years or the first wolverine in California in nearly 90 years.

A wolverine was shot and killed in Western North Dakota on Sunday, April 24, 2016. The wolverine was killed on the Wisness Ranch south of  Alexander, North Dakota. Alexander, a town of only 223 people, is located in far western North Dakota on the border with Montana. The animal was killed by ranch hand and Alexander resident Jared Hatter when it was harassing calves in the calving pasture. Hatter went out to check on the cows when he saw that cows had surrounded an animal in the calving pasture. A wolverine is absolutely capable of killing a calf, and the full-grown ones can actually take down a adult cow. Hatter reported it on his Facebook page and included photos of the animal.

Ranch workers contacted the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. A biologist from the department examined the animal and determined that it was indeed a wolverine. The department kept the wolverine and took it back to Game and Fish Headquarters, where it remains. This Facebook post is the initial post made by Hatter on his Facebook page.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department verified the wolverine story. Dale Repnow, spokesman for the Wildlife Division of North Dakota Game and Fish (NDGF) confirmed that the story is true. “Yes, that story is correct. I can confirm that. And I believe we have the animal in our possession now. This is all very exciting news for us,” said Repnow. In addition to Repnow, the story was also confirmed Stephanie Tucker, wildlife biologist for the Furbearer Division of NDGF and Rebecca Barrett, head of The Wolverine Foundation.

This report was the first major report of the incident and the photos associated with it published in the mainstream online media. I was ahead of the mainstream media by four days, as I ran this on April 28, and the media did not pick it up until four days later on April 2.

There have been a number of unverified sightings of wolverines in North Dakota in the past two decades. They are listed in my report, Wolverines in the Upper Midwest, available here. This is the most detailed report on wolverines in this region on the Internet. Be sure to check it out if you are interested in the subject. It has lots of great photos of the areas in which wolverines were spotted and the general terrain of the region.

It also links a number of other reports I wrote on other parts of the US. I broke the Western and Central US into several zones of one or more states and then discussed the status and recent sightings of wolverines in that area. I also included a lot of photos of the locales where the sightings took place.

The last wolverine recorded in the state was from 1870 when a wolverine was poisoned by a hunter named Henry Bennett at the mouth of Cherry Creek near the Killdeer Mountains. Curiously, that location very close to where the current specimen was taken. There were 36 known records of wolverines taken in North Dakota, but none of them were verified. 35 of these are from a single locale, a fort at the mouth of the Pembina River in the northeastern part of the state. These records are all from the journal of a single fur trapper from Montreal, Alexander Henry the Younger.

Henry’s journals date from 1801-1806 when he worked as a fur trapper for the Montreal-based North West Company. During this period, Northeastern North Dakota had not yet been settled by Whites, so his records would seem to be a good record of the wildlife presence and density in this region pre-contact. At this time, the land was the territory of Dakotas, but Chippewas and Crees were also in the area.

He lived for most of the time at a fort at the mouth of the Pembina River. In those five years, Henry reported that 35 wolverines were trapped in eastern North Dakota alone.

The USFWS regards these records as possibly spurious since they nearly all came from a single person, and it is uncertain whether these records were of wolverines actually taken in North Dakota or whether these were animals taken elsewhere and transported to the fort. However, a closer look at Henry’s journal shows that he was reporting exact locales where his trappers were taking wolverines. He listed a variety of locales, all in eastern North Dakota. The theory that some or all of these wolverines were trapped outside of North Dakota and brought to the fort seems incorrect.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) says according to the known habitat associations of the wolverine in the US, North Dakota never housed a population of established wolverines during historical times.

However, this conclusion may be erroneous, and wolverine biologists think it is incorrect.

The USFWS also says that the entire area of the US Northeast, Great Lakes and Great Plains never had an established population of wolverines. However, biologists reported that two juvenile wolverines were taken in the Diamond Lakes area of New Hampshire in a single year, 1918. The biologists felt that the taking of two young in a single year meant that a breeding population of wolverines may have been present at that time. The current theory that the Northeast never had an established population of wolverines is probably incorrect.

Dr. Keith Aubry, one of the nation’s top wolverine scientists, said that if those 35 specimens were all taken from eastern North Dakota in a five year period alone, then that implies that there was a resident population of wolverines in Eastern North Dakota at that time.

The question here centers around the question of what one means by established population. To wildlife biologists, established population means breeding population, and the USFWS argues that the Upper Great Plains does not have suitable habitat for breeding wolverines due to the lack of deep snow cover into the late spring.

The FWS also argue that wolverines cannot live in this region because summer temperatures are too high.

However, a wolverine recently lived for 5-10 years around the area of Ubly, Michigan where summer temperatures rise to 82 degrees, close to the 85 degrees found in Alexander. But the Ubly story is complicated by other factors. That animal had been live-trapped by someone in Alaska, brought to Michigan somehow and released near Ubly. A man who had set up the camera-traps that were photographing the animal was also feeding it regularly, so this is not pure case of a naturally dispersing wild animal surviving on its own, and this animal may not have been able to survive there on its own.

Based on this data, the Summer Temperature Theory about wolverines may be wrong. Aubry acknowledged that wolverines can live in areas where the summer temperatures get up to 80-85 degrees, but they do not live well or thrive in these places.

Based on the number of reports coming in of wolverines not only from North Dakota but also from elsewhere in the Upper Midwest and the long historical record of sightings in this area from the 19th Century, the Great Plains was definitely wolverine habitat pre-contact and even for a period of time after contact before they were possibly extirpated by the fur trade or even more likely by a warming climate, which is the theory that Aubry favors. The reason that the prairie may not be habitat now is because of the assumption that lacks the deep snow persisting into late spring required for breeding wolverines.

Although the prairie seems to be an odd place to have wolverines, when you think about the great herds of buffalo that used to roam here, perhaps it is not so strange after all. Aubry agreed that the Great Plains would have been perfect habitat for wolverines due to the huge herds of buffalo that would have provided a ready source of large amounts of carrion that would be perfect for a scavenger like a wolverine.

He also said that it was much colder in the US in 1800 than it is today because that was during the tail end of a several centuries-long Little Ice Age where temperatures dropped all over North America. Since then, the continent has been slowly warming up, a process that has much accelerated in recent days, and what may have been cold enough for wolverines in 1800 is much less suitable habitat now that it is much warmer. Aubry said it may well have been cold enough in North Dakota in 1800 to sustain the snow conditions necessary for wolverine breeding.

He also noted that Canadian scientists say there has been a retraction of the wolverine’s range in Ontario over the past century or so. Whereas once wolverines occurred throughout the province from north to south, they have retreated north and are now found only in the northern half of Ontario. Aubry felt that the retraction of the wolverine’s range from the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Great Plains was probably more due to warming climate than to overtrapping and poisoning.

“The wolverine may have been one of the first victims of global warming,” Aubry said.

Among nearby states, wolverines were last recorded in Indiana in 1852, in Wisconsin in 1870, and in Minnesota in 1965.

Wolverines are resident in the western mountains of Montana and are also known to be present in the Great Plains part of the state in the west. About two months ago on March 8, a motorist snapped a photo of wolverine one mile north of Hingham, Montana running across a field in north-central Montana.


Zoomed in shot of a what definitely appears to be a wolverine running in a field one more north of Havre, Montana. The photo was shot two months ago. This may well have been the same wolverine that was killed just over the North Dakota border last week now.

It seemed to be running from the Sweetgrass Hills towards the Bear Paw Mountains. Based on location, it could have come from the Sweetgrass Hills northwest of Havre on the border of Montana and Alberta. The Sweetgrass Hills are known to have a resident population of wolverines. Two of the nation’s top wolverine experts stated that this wolverine may have been the same one that was recorded in Montana earlier because when seen in Montana, it was headed towards North Dakota. There has been only one other sighting in this Hill Country area when a wolverine was spotted near Kremlin in the 1970’s. Kremlin is 23 miles west of Havre along the Milk River.

Photos of the wolverine are below.


Side view of the wolverine killed just recently in North Dakota. Note the huge padded paws and the massive claws.

wolverine 2

Another side view with an emphasis on the head and front of the animal. Note the black and white dual colored hair color, the shape of the small ears, the elongated snout, the big fangs, and of course the huge padded paws. The pads and claws on the feet of a badger look something like this, but on the wolverine, these characteristics may be more accentuated.


Yet another photo of the wolverine, this time with an emphasis on the paws and the claws.


Jared Hatter of Alexander, North Dakota holds up the wolverine he shot near there on April 24, 2016. Hatter did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story.


Aubry, K. B., K. S. McKelvey, and J. P. Copeland. 2007. Geographic Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2147-2158.

Aubry, Keith. April 28, 2016. Research Wildlife Biologist. Ecological Process and Function Division, Research and Development Department, Pacific Northwest Research Station, United States Forest Service. Olympia, Washington. Personal communication.

Bailey, V. 1926. A Biological Survey of North Dakota. North American Fauna 49:1–226.

Copeland, J. P. and Whitman, J. S. 2003. “Wolverine,” pp. 672-682, in Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Economics. G. A. Feldhamer, B. C. Thompson, and J. A. Chapman, eds. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Henry, Alexander. 1988. The Journal of Alexander Henry the Younger 1799-1814. Toronto: The Champlain Society, University of Toronto Press.

Jackson, C. F. August 22, 1922. Notes on New Hampshire Mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 3:1, p. 13.

Whitaker, John O. and Hamilton, William John. 1998. Mammals of the Eastern United States, p. 551. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.


Filed under Animals, Canada, Carnivores, History, Mammals, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, Mustelids, North America, North Dakota, Northeast, Quebec, Regional, USA, Wild, Wildlife, Wisconsin, Wolverines

Butterfly Holocaust

Thanks Monsanto.

“6 million ain’t nuthin’! We butterflies see your 6 million, you petty, insolent Jews, and raise you 970 million!” said the fluttery-winged ones.

“Insects are antisemites too now! Oh vey! Who will hate us next? The nematodes?” screamed the Jews.

And the word yawned.

970 million dead and counting, thank you Monsanto. I do say that Monsatano or Monsanto or whatever it’s called is in the running for Most Evil Corporation on Earth. Of course Bill Gates invested in them?

How could he not? Like attracts like. Evil attracts evil. How do you think serial killers get accomplices?


Filed under Canada, Capitalists, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Government, Mexico, North America, Pollution, Regional, Scum, USA, Wildlife

The New South Africa Is Incapable of Protecting Its Wildlife


Absolutely disgusting what this stupid post-apartheid government is doing with its rhinos. There is nothing environmentalist about this move. 500 of South Africa’s rhinos will be sold to private buyers!? Well, obviously those are trophy hunters who will kill them. What’s the point of that. How is that an environmental move that will protect the rhinos?

No poacher ever goes to jail or prison in the new South Africa. They pay a fine (bribe) to the judge and get out and then go back to the part of Kruger National Park that is in Mozambique where they camp out and go back to poaching. The South African government allows them to stay there and does nothing about it.

The new South African government is amazingly corrupt.

Apartheid was terrible, but at least the Whites ran a functioning country. These Blacks don’t seem to be able to run a modern country.


Filed under Africa, Corruption, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Government, Mozambique, Regional, South Africa, Wildlife

Shut Down Wildlife Services Now

This is just stupid. The agency is completely out of control. Shut it down now!

If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.


Filed under Agricutlure, Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Corruption, Crime, Dogs, Domestic, Environmentalism, Government, Law, Mammals, Oregon, Pollution, Public Health, Regional, Texas, USA, West, Wild, Wildlife, Wyoming

Bison, Cattle and the Great Plains/Rocky Mountains

I got this from Defenders of Wildlife. I have no idea why these idiot cattle ranchers in Montana hate buffalo so much. Does anyone have any ideas?

I have a feeling that it might have to do with brucellosis. It is true that bison do have brucellosis, and theoretically they could transmit it to cattle. Cattle can be devastated by brucellosis. However, to my knowledge, there has not yet been a single case of bison to cattle brucellosis transmission. Apparently bison need to have very close contact with cattle to transmit the disease, and that just does not happen in the wild. It might occur in a zoo or game farm or some artificial environment where you threw the animals together.

I understand at least as of 15-20 years ago, there were parts of the northern Great Plains that were actually losing population in many areas of the states. I think especially of North Dakota and South Dakota. Some counties are nearly hanging up the Going out Business sign as the number of residents goes too low to support county services. Some towns have become virtual ghost towns. Many of the remaining are elderly people living alone. There are many abandoned old homes in some of these counties. If you have the guts, you can poke around these old homes. They still have a lot of period furniture, old clothes, old books, old lamps and other accessories. Wild animals are now reclaiming a lot of these old homes and you will often ferret them out when you go into these old houses.

I am not sure what the depopulation is all about. Does anyone have any ideas?

Anyway, I believe that what we ought to do in these depopulated areas is have the state condemn the land and buy it out. Then run bison on it or allow private bison ranchers to lease the land and run bison on it. Or sell it to bison farmers so they can run bison on it. If no one wants to run bison on the land, you can open it up to private harvest by hunters or you can lease use of it to private bison harvesting concerns so they can harvest the bison and ship it to slaughterhouses for packaging to consumers.

Bison is said to taste a lot like beef but it is very much better for you. The Plains Indians lived on bison meat for millenia and there was little evidence of any harm to them from this diet. Bison meat is very lean and low fat.

In particular, the Great Plains evolved with bison! There is a whole ecosystem that has been almost completely destroyed out there with the elimination of the bison. Prairie dogs and the black footed ferret are two of those that have been hit the hardest. The black footed ferret was nearly driven to extinction, mostly by extermination campaigns waged by cattle ranchers against prairie dogs. Cattlemen slaughter prairie dogs because they say that stupid cows trip over their prairie dog burrows and the dogs compete with cows for forage.

As you can tell, I have an extremely low opinion of cattle ranchers! However, they do have some potential. Perhaps we could allow ranchers who agree not to exterminate everything that is not a cow on their land to charge a lower price for their beef. Call it “endangered species beef.” Even better yet, hit those ranchers who will not undertake these measures with a tax that raises the price of their beef by maybe 10% above the conservationist ranchers. The good ranchers would be allowed to sell for cheaper and slap a pro-environment label on their beef. This is a sort of a market friendly regulation that I like, but as you can see, it still involves government regulation, taxation and so on. But carrot and stick approaches are usually nice.

It’s the latest threat to wild bison conservation.

All we have worked for could be severely compromised if a batch of bad bison bills passes through Montana’s state legislature. Some of Montana’s most extreme anti-wildlife legislators are attempting to make restoration of wild bison to the Great Plains nearly impossible.

A Massive Assault on Bison

The worst of the bills, SB 143, would:

  • Order Montana officials to “immediately” kill or remove all wild bison migrating into Montana;
  • Prohibit wild bison relocation anywhere in Montana except to the National Bison Range – where wild bison are already located;
  • Establish a bison hunt “statewide and at any time of the year;” and
  • Allow landowners to shoot wild bison on private land.

To add insult to injury:

  • SB 256 would make Montana’s wildlife agency liable for any property damage from wild bison, a precedent meant to financially prohibit bison restoration;
  • SB 341 would require Montana’s wildlife agency to navigate a massive list of additional hurdles prior to relocation of any wildlife species and prohibit relocation if the species could impact livestock grazing, clearly intended to prevent bison relocation; and
  • HB 396 would attempt to give county commissioners veto power over bison restoration within their counties – even on tribal lands and our federal public lands.

Our Plan for Bison

Defenders of Wildlife’s Rockies and Plains team is working overtime to turn back this cruel assault on bison recovery.

We’re working with a diverse coalition of tribes and conservation organizations to testify against these bills and mobilize opposition; we’re getting word out to the media to bring attention to these bills; and we’re organizing Montanans to show up at the Montana capitol, make phone calls and send emails to exert grassroots pressure on legislators and the governor.

Our efforts are beginning to pay off. Three of the eight anti-bison bills are now dead. But five more remain a threat to wild bison in Montana — and we need your help more than ever to continue this critical work.

Last year, we helped relocate 61 pure wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. It was the start of an historic effort to restore Yellowstone bison to key places in the Great Plains – an effort that is now in jeopardy, unless we can turn back this latest assault. Please help today!


Filed under Animals, Cows, Domestic, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Government, Herbivores, Illness, Law, Mammals, Midwest, North America, Regional, USA, West, Wild, Wildlife

Sequester Cuts Will Shut Down Our Nation’s Wildlands

I got this mail recently. This is some kind of a joke. It looks like the sequester cuts will cause quite a few of our national parks, wildlife refuges and national forests to shut down completely for visitor use. What’s the point of that? We have to shut down our national parks, wildlife refuges and national forests? Why? Stupid!

Who wants to see a CLOSED sign on our National Parks? Or gates barring entry to our national forests? Or a padlock and chain keeping you from your favorite trail?

No one of course. But that’s what the massive budget cuts (called the “sequester”) are doing to America’s wild places. These 10-year cuts will gut funding for National Parks, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, and other wild places that make America beautiful.

Meanwhile, billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies are left untouched.

These cuts are closing visitor’s centers and campgrounds, furloughing park rangers, and limiting access to hunting and fishing. If these cuts aren’t reversed, entire parks, refuges, and forests will be closed completely.


Filed under Economics, Government, Wildlife

The Real US Forest Service: Dishonest, Connving, Anti-Environmental Political Hacks

The Forest Service main goal is to suck up to the resource abusers like the ORV crowd, the grazers and the loggers. There are specific positions for grazing specialist, forester and ORV coordinator. Their job is to appease the grazers, the ORV crowd and the loggers by maximizing grazing, ORV use and logging on the national forest.

There are many “environmentalist” positions also set up on the local national forest. These include positions like wildlife biologist, fisheries specialist, archeologist, botanist, etc. 100% of these types are complete hacks whose job it is to go along with the environmental abuse by the abusers detailed above. The wildlife biologist will never find that any proposed project harms any wildlife. The fisheries person will never find that any project harms the streams or rivers. The botanist will never find that any project harms sensitive plants. In fact, I saw the local botanist routinely sign off on projects that destroyed 1000’s of sensitive plants.

The archeologist will always find that there are no significant archeological projects in the way of the project. Once you get them alone, these “environmental scientist” types will typically start blasting away at the Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws. The local ranger station had Rush Limbaugh on all the time, and it was the wildlife biologists favorite station. What kind of wildlife biologist listens to Rush Limbaugh?

The only pro-environmental regulations and work done on the forests was done above the local forest level. Around here that means the Pacific Southwest Research station. These guys were true environmental scientists, possibly above the political pressures of the local forest,  and quite a few nice proposals came out of that office. They issued some great regulations for the California spotted owl, for instance.

I must say though that on the local forest level, I met some of the worst and most disgusting political hacks I have ever met in my life. Bureaucrats who would do anything to keep their jobs and would never stick their neck out. In addition, I have seldom seen so much overt lying and dishonesty as I saw with the local forest service crowd. Their lying simply had to be seen to be believed.

I also spoke to “environmental scientists” at other forests and frankly they were exactly the same as the ones at my local forest. Political hacks every single one of them. Basically disgusting people.


Filed under California, Environmentalism, Government, Law, Local, Politics, Regional, Science, USA, West, Wildlife

Stop the House Interior Funding Bill

A mail I got from the Defenders of Wildlife, a group I support. I don’t really understand why environmentalists vote Republican. If you’re an environmentalist who votes Republican, why don’t you tell us what’s going through your head. The Republican Party is a viciously, savagely, brutally anti-environmental party, and they have been for 30 years now, since Reagan.

If you like to fish and hunt, why vote Republican? I don’t get it. Fishing and hunting depends on open, clean and wild areas for the fish and animals to live in. Republicans destroy rivers and lakes and wreck any wild land that they can find.

Now, if you’re an anti-environmentalist and vote rightwing, I respect that. You are a man of principles, and you are sticking to them. But a fisherman, a hunter, and environmentalist, who votes rightwing? You need to have your head examined.

Denham, the guy who wants to kill the restoration of the salmon run in the San Joaquin River, is my congressman. He’s as reactionary as they come; he’s more or less a Tea Partier. People don’t understand California. The Whites here (and some of the others) are very rightwing. The only liberals are on the coast. Inland, in the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, the Great Basin, the North Coast, the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades is very White and very, very rightwing. By the way, all of this slashing and cutting is being done under the rubric of deficit reduction.

The House of Representatives has left town for their summer recess, but not before unveiling a barrage of new anti-wildlife provisions in the Interior spending bill.

These provisions threaten wild Mexican gray wolves and endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles with extinction and pose a significant threat of increased injury and death for gentle manatees.

We must stop them.

Some in Congress seem bound and determined to unravel basic protections for some of our most vulnerable wildlife…

* Extinct Mexican gray wolves. Republican Representative Steve Pearce (NM) has introduced an amendment to end lobo recovery efforts, essentially dooming the 50 remaining Mexican gray wolves in the wild to extinction.
* Crushed sea turtles. Republican Representative Blake Farenthold (TX) has proposed blocking efforts to reduce the speed limits on beaches where threatened and endangered sea turtles – already reeling from the effects of last year’s BP oil disaster – nest.
* Wounded manatees. Boat strikes are one of the leading causes of death for Florida’s threatened manatees, but Republican Representative Richard Nugent (FL) wants to block a Fish and Wildlife Service rule to prevent boat collisions and end the hazing of these gentle sea cows.
* Dead salmon. Representative Republican Jeff Denham (CA) has introduced an amendment to block restoration of salmon in the San Joaquin River.
* A path to extinction for lesser prairie chickens and dunes sagebrush lizards. Republican Representatives Pearce (NM) and Randy Neugebauer (TX) are fighting to prohibit vital Endangered Species Act protections for these highly vulnerable animals.
* A lawless border zone. Republican Representatives Paul Gosar (AZ) and Rob Bishop (UT) have proposed amendments that would exempt the border patrol from laws and regulations that protect imperiled wildlife and federal conservation lands like our national parks and wildlife refuges.

But that’s not all. The bill also proposes deep cuts in funding for our National Wildlife Refuges and key conservation programs to keep our imperiled wildlife and wild lands safe.

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Filed under Americas, Animals, California, Canids, Carnivores, Conservatism, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Europeans, Fish, Government, Law, Mammals, North America, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Republicans, Salmon, US Politics, USA, West, Whites, Wild, Wildlife, Wolves